Last week I attended the Together for the Gospel Conference with a couple of guys from church. It was an outstanding time of worship, fellowship, and teaching. The speakers were Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler, R. C. Sproul, John Piper, C. J. Mahaney, and John MacArthur. I thought I'd share a few highlights from the teaching. These are "quotes" from my notes and memory, so they should be read as paraphrases, not direct quotations. I may have missed the exact wording. The things that stood out to me most:
John Piper, on why there should be such seriousness and urgency to our preaching and proclamation: "The mantle of preaching is stained with the blood of Calvary and singed with the fires of hell. Are you wearing that mantle?"
John MacArthur, on our greatest evangelistic field: "Every week unbelievers come to your church. The always congregate together in large numbers. They are there every week, and they need to hear the gospel. They are your children."
R. C. Sproul, on getting the gospel right and understanding the real issues with Roman Catholicism: "Sometimes people say 'we believe in justification by faith and Catholics believe in justification by works.' That is slandering Roman Catholics! They do not believe in justification by works." Then he went on to show that the real issue is not faith vs. works, but faith alone vs. faith + the sacraments.
C. J. Mahaney, after telling a story about a business man in a restaurant, wearing a fine Armani suit, with perfectly groomed hair and shined shoes, but with a blob of cream cheese unknowingly attached to his mustache, "You have cream cheese on your face. You don't see it, but everybody else does see it. You need help from others to see it."
Al Mohler on the differences between the gospel message and the culture: "Most Americans believe that their problem is something which happened to them and that the solution is internal. They believe the problem is an 'alien' problem and the solution is an inward solution. The gospel says that our problem is an inward problem and the solution is an 'alien' solution - the righteousness of Christ by which we are justified."
These are just a few highlights and there was much more that was good. But, alas, I'm out of time!
I lived in South Bend for a short time as a kid when my dad went to Notre Dame. But I'm a Reformed Baptist/Congregationalist. Soli Deo Gloria!
I went to C.J. Mahaney's Sovereign Grace church in Chesapeake, VA while I lived there for a year for college professional studies. He gives a some solid sermons.
Sorry we missed seeing you there! We had all of our elders and staff in attendance. You might have run into some of our group. We are earnestly praying for your ministry and church as you seek to glorify Christ in all you do. Hope you can come to Muscle Shoals again soon!
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